Men Home > What Is Alfuzosin Used For?
Alfuzosin is mainly used for treating an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). The drug works by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder neck. On occasion, a healthcare provider may also prescribe alfuzosin for other uses, which are not approved. Some of the "off-label" alfuzosin uses include treating premature ejaculation, urinary retention in women, and urinary problems associated with multiple sclerosis.
What Is Alfuzosin Used For?Alfuzosin hydrochloride (Uroxatral®) is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
The prostate gland, located below the bladder, is part of the male reproductive system. The urethra (the canal that takes urine out of the body) runs through the prostate.
An enlarged prostate (known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH) is very common among older men. The prostate begins growing during puberty and continues to grow throughout most of adulthood. Usually, this is not a problem until men reach their 50s or 60s. When the prostate becomes too large, it can press against the urethra, causing problems with urination. Specific BPH symptoms may include:
- Frequent urination (urinary frequency)
- Needing to get up several times at night to urinate (nocturia)
- Difficulty fully emptying the bladder
- Difficulty starting a urine stream (urinary hesitancy)
- Painful urination (dysuria)
- A weak urine stream
- Dribbling after urinating.
One of the most common ways to detect an enlarged prostate is by the digital rectal exam. During a digital rectal exam, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the size and shape of the prostate. Some men can have a BPH diagnosis without having any symptoms.
Treatment for BPH includes "watchful waiting" (doing nothing, especially if symptoms are not bothersome), medication, and surgery. Alfuzosin effectively treats BPH symptoms, although it is not a cure for BPH and does not shrink the prostate (like a few other medications can do).
(Click Uroxatral Alternatives for more information about other options for treating BPH.)